Homosexuality is Not a Civil Right by Peter Sprigg

Early in 2004, San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom began giving out marriage licenses—illegally—to same-sex couples. One of the homosexuals who traveled to San Francisco in search of a marriage license explained his rationale succinctly: “I am tired of sitting at the back of the bus.”1

The allusion, of course, was to the famous story of Rosa Parks. Parks is the African-American woman who, one day in 1955, boarded a racially segregated city bus in Montgomery, Alabama, sat down near the front, and refused the driver’s order to “move to the back of the bus.” Parks’ act of civil disobedience violated one of the “Jim Crow” laws that enforced racial segregation in various public services and accommodations in some states.

Parks’ arrest for her courageous defiance sparked the Montgomery bus boycott, led by a young minister named Martin Luther King, Jr., which is generally viewed as the beginning of the great civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. It culminated legislatively in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, banning racial discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations.

The stories of Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. have become an inspiring part of American history. It’s not surprising that homosexual activists have tried to hitch their caboose to the “civil rights” train. They do this in the context of efforts to change the definition of marriage in order to allow same sex “marriages” (by comparing same-sex “marriage” to interracial marriage) and efforts to pass “hate crime” laws (which stigmatize opposition to homosexual behavior as a form of “hate” comparable to racism). The arguments in this essay are relevant to those debates, but focus particularly on laws that would ban employment “discrimination” on the basis of “sexual orientation” (such as the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which is regularly introduced each Congress).

This essay is not a legal treatise, but an exploration of the philosophical justification for including various characteristics as categories of protection under historic civil rights laws—and why “sexual orientation” simply does not compare with them.

Defining Terms: What Are “Civil Rights,” Anyway? …

Read the rest of the article here:
“Homosexuality is Not a Civil Right” by Peter Sprigg, Senior Fellow for Policy Studies at the Family Research Council

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Free Speech Rights Under Fire – Harassment and Death Threats Against Prop 8 Supporters

Source: Mapping Political Persecution by Chuck Colson

Posted 2/24/2009
http://www.breakpoint.org/

Dotting the streets on a certain online map are hundreds of red teardrops. Click on a teardrop at a particular address, and come up with the words, “Patricia Greenwood. Insurance agent. $100.”

Miss Greenwood had better watch her back. Angry supporters of same-sex “marriage” are using Google Maps to tell the world exactly where she lives, and that she donated money to support Proposition 8—the California initiative banning same-sex “marriage.” Now, I made up the name Patricia Greenwood, but the names and addresses on this map belong to real people.

The only point of identifying Proposition 8 supporters is to encourage people to harass them. And the tactic is working.

Opponents of traditional marriage have sent threatening emails and vandalized churches. They have forced supporters out of their jobs and boycotted their businesses. They’ve made abusive telephone calls and even threatened their neighbors with death. Hundreds of cases of harassment have been documented.

Ron Prentice, chairman of the pro-Proposition 8 group ProtectMarriage.com, says the message of the maps “is unmistakable: Support traditional marriage, and we will find you.”

This is unbelievable in a democracy. In fact, domestic terrorism is not too strong a word to use for what’s occurring in California—and it’s a reminder of what happened when citizens allowed similar tactics to go unchallenged in another time and place.

Seventy-odd years ago, Adolf Hitler turned loose his brown shirts on Germany. These vicious young thugs went street by street, seeking out Jews and communists and trade union leaders. They beat them up and destroyed their places of business. In this way, Germany, a strong country, was taken over by an evil man and regime.

How much easier the brown shirts’ job would have been with a Google map! If vigilante-type movements are allowed to bully their opponents, we’re not just talking about suppression of religious freedom. We’re talking about the undermining of the very character of democracy. Political zealots of every stripe will learn that if they cannot persuade their fellow citizens by reason, they can “persuade” us another way—with clubs, scorn, and social ostracism.

It could get to the point where people will be afraid to get involved in politics at all—and if that happens, it will sound the death knell of representative liberal democracy. This is precisely why laws were passed giving Americans the right to a secret ballot.

ProtectMarriage.com and the Alliance Defense Fund have gone to court to protect the privacy and free speech of those who contribute to future campaigns—and to protect them from harassment. They are challenging state campaign finance laws that force disclosure of personal information of those who donate even small amounts of money to political campaigns.

Campaign disclosure laws must balance the public’s right, of course, to know who is donating money to political campaigns with an individual’s right to privacy, freedom of expression, and the freedom not to be threatened for their beliefs.

And we need vigorous law enforcement. If we prosecute hate crimes, why shouldn’t federal and state prosecutors go after those thugs who are abusing innocent people for exercising their right to vote?

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Now a syndicated columnist, Charles Colson was once labeled a “hatchet man” during his tenure under former President Nixon and was feared in Washington and elsewhere by many in politics. Now as a repentant and devout Christian, Colson preaches a message of reconciliation to “the least of these” – prisoners and their families as well as crime victims and their families all over the world. PFM (formerly Prison Fellowship Ministries) was founded by Colson in 1976 and continues to minister to millions worldwide today.